Monday, December 15, 2014

Got Miracles?? Creo que si!

December 14, 2014

In the "Garden of Eden"
Hola!!! Yay, another week has come and gone! Now for the update from last week since my email was absolutely awful. My mom will probably post pictures of us in the ¨Garden¨of Eden. It was the house of a lady and after we greeted her she made us take pictures all over throughout it. This may or may not have been because she was just a little tipsy...or a lot. Esta bien. She was very sweet though, and we got some great pictures. We also got our first mango given to us by the abuelo <grandfather> de Familia Vera. It was REAL good. Hurray for mango trees everywhere! (Now, if they just had the dried kind like Costco...) That is really all that I left out for last week. Onto this week....whelp I hit the big 3 MONTHS in the mission. Halfway to 6 months baby! Crazy. The time is flying by...mostly. ;) So Hermana Dance was really sicky on Wednesday... good thing I know a nurse. :) We got her some medicine, sleep, and TLC and she is ALL BETTER! Yay!

So some cool experiences that happened this week. First with Laura and Sulma, and Carmen. Two different lessons but the same principle and lesson learned.
Plan of Salvation - Click on the link for more information
Both of these visits we were just talking with the women and getting to know them better when something they said highlighted a struggle they were having. Coincidentally...or not, it was with the plan of salvation. Laura y Sulma don't believe they will ever see their father again, who died 7 years ago. For Carmen, her mother died in a lot of pain and she is sad that she will never be able to talk to her again. For both we were able to sha
re the message of life after this, and the principle of forever families. It was awesome to see that just as PMG states. If you are listening and truly trying to understand you will not have to wonder what to say or what to teach. It will be given to you. In both of these cases it so clearly was, and because we were truly listening we were then able to teach with the spirit and the lessons were powerful. It was AWESOME!!! 

We also did a lot of contacting this week. AKA tracting. Which I will be the first to tell you is not my favorite. People here are super sweet and let pretty much anyone in, but this is frustrating as well because they are not usually ever serious about really hearing your message. This week though we found a couple of hidden and potential gems. Their names are Perla and Carolina. They are both in their 30s or 40s. Perla does not have a religion in her life right now but she has a relationship with God. We were able to share a little bit with her. Then with Carolina. She is a sassy one. First Paraguayan feminist I have met. She is a devote Catholic primarily because they worship Virgin Mary, and Mary is a woman. Haha made me laugh. We were able to discuss the importance of women to her and our roles. She even gave us cookies when we left after the second visit. She is definitely a gem. We have a fecha <date> for her, so we will see what happens this week. 
Hermana Dance and I at a Paraguayan Pizza Hut!

Lastly, my miracle of the week. We were up tracting in an area before we had another appointment, when I had the thought to visit someone that we had contacted into the week before, her name is Christina. We headed up that way and turned on the street that I thought was hers. There was a woman outside her house with her little baby. We stopped and began talking to her,  came to find out that the house I thought was Christina´s was in fact this ladies house. As we were talking a man walked past that I recognized as the son of Christina from before. The woman we were talking to waved at him and said, "Oh, that is my brother." I then realized that this young woman who also was named Christina was the daughter of the woman I had felt prompted to visit. The best part was that she was SUPER excited about our message. She thanked us multiple times for giving her a LDM and expressed interest in coming to church. We are very excited to see where this goes, but for me it was a great moment to see that even simple thoughts can be promptings from the spirit. I would never have realized the sweet spiritual experience had I not followed the soft voice of the spirit. The Lord is in this work and it was so great to see that so incredibly this week!

Hermana Gamarra
Now for some funny stories. So the Hermana's from a different zone stayed the night with us this week. During these short few hours they broke our extra bed, our toilet, and ate all our delicious Pepas. (A cookie here.) Kind of funny. Don't worry Hermana Dance fixed the toilet like a champ. The bed frame was a goner though. Next, we had lunch with Familia Gamarra this week in which she cooked us a HUGE slab of meat. We are talking like an 18 to 19oz steak. I took a picture of the bone so you could see. Ginormous. They love meat here. Then we had a crazy rain storm this week in which we were stuck at the home of Familia Vera for 2 1/2 hours. Yikes. Good thing they still love us. 

Oh, and then we saw a HUGE tarantula get eaten by a tarantula hawk. Good thing too because I was about to kill it after Hermana Dance shook it off her foot. Scary!! Oh and apparently there is this random bug that flies around and lays huevos <eggs> on laundry. Last week I found some of these little nasties on some of my clothes. Flicked the little guys off and all was well but had the heebie jeebies for a while after. So now whenever I am getting laundry off the line I am always thinking, No huevos, no huevos. Reminds me of the game show. No whammy, no whammy. Hahaha. 

As for spiritual. Mosiah 23: 13-14. Who should you follow?? 
What does God want you to be?

¨The moment you start comparing yourself, is the moment you stop becoming what God needs you to be.¨ Such a great reminder for me and all. Be what God needs you to be, don't compare. You are you for a reason and YOU ARE SPECIAL TO HIM!!!! 

Hermana Dance and I -- LOVE HER!
Favorite New Quotes: Obedience is the price, faith is the power, the spirit is the key, Christ is the reason, love is the motive, joy is the reward. Unknown

God does not have distracting hobbies off somewhere in the universe. We are at the very center of his concerns and purposes. Neal A. Maxwell

The more we serve our fellowman in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. Spencer W. Kimball 

Love you all, hope the Christmas season is wonderful and you are all taking time to remember who it is really all about. He is the gift!!!

Hermana Albach

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dance, Dance, Romance...

December 9, 2014

**This is a day late because many latin countries celebrate the Catholic holiday called the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. It is their belief that this is the date when the virgin Mary was conceived. Nine months later on September 8th, while we are celebrating my mom's birthday, they celebrate the Nativity of Mary. Interesting, right?

Hey all, 
This email is going to be really short because I have like no time left. So here it goes. There was no romance this week because....uh...we are missionaries. But my knew companion is Hermana Dance, and I want to just dance with joy because she is INCREDIBLE! We get along so well, she is so sweet and nice, we work hard every day. We come home exhausted, sweaty, and with aching legs. In three words: Real. Missionary. Work. The best part is that we are enjoying every second of it. Since she is new to the area I have been showing her around and we have been trying to make connections. Our area has been kind of dead so we are excited to start over and get to work. We made some really good progress with Familia Vera and Familia Ortiz. Both are less active families that we were able to visit this week. Familia Ortiz are all members except the father. We went and had noche de hogar <Family Home Evening> with them last night and played a game and then Hermana Ortiz brought out what looked like hot dogs. It was like 8:30 at night but, oh well, she had been so sweet. So I ate my first ever chicken hot dog, which I didn't know until after we left. We ate it in a bun with mayonnaise. They put mayo on everything here. It was super good, surprisingly. With Familia Vera we were able to talk to the father (who is also not a member) a little bit. We are going to focus on him and the son that is going a little wayward. We also talked with Elli who is a RM from the family but fell a little away because some of the members were very rude. But she is making great strides to return. I just love the people here. They all have crazy stories, but they all are so devoted to God in some way or another. Yesterday was a national holiday about the virgin Mary. It was crazy. Everything was closed. People weren't super happy we were out tracting, but it was worth it because the message we have changes lives and is such a blessing. Well, I am out of time and I know that this email is all over the place and not as good as previous ones. Just know that I love the Lord, this work is powerful, and you can come closer to God by following the simple things (reading scriptures, praying, attending church) then by any other thing! 

Love you all,

Hermana Albach

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Craziness, Cookies, and Cambios

December 1, 2014
CHEEZ! Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Happy Late Thanksgiving everybody! Hope everyone enjoyed the food but more importantly being with their families. I love the holidays for that very reason, it gives you an excuse to be with your family more and to realize how much you love them. Luckily for me being in a foreign country was a blessing because it was 95 degrees and felt nothing like Thanksgiving. (Though we did make rolls and pizookies!) Quite the Thanksgiving feast, but it was memorable for sure. Starting this week, I think I am going to do my emails a little bit differently. The day by day is awesome but I just want to switch things up a bit. So instead I will talk about moments that happened. 

Gonna miss her!
This week was a lot different than others for the sole reason that it was Hermana Chandler's last week as a missionary. :( There was a lot of packing, last minute nursing training that had to happen, and we had our Apertura de Navidad <Christmas concert>. So the whole tracting and proselyting and actually doing work as a missionary didn't happen all that much. It was kind of sad, but we still had some good experiences. One was with Juan Carlos and Carmen. They were both home when we went to visit them which is super rare. Then Juan Carlos sat down with us and began talking, which never happens, and then Hermana Chandler was able to share her testimony. I felt the spirit so strong. I am not sure if they did or not but just as Nephi says, "the spirit brings truth UNTO the hearts of man." Not INTO. Entonces <then>, it is their decision whether to accept it or not but I will definitely be following up with my new companion. 

Speaking of my new companion, I now know who she is. Her name is Hermana Dance and she is from Las Vegas. She and I will be staying in Ciudad Del Este (CDE) for the next transfer. She is actually a Hermana Leader trainer. So I know there is so much I am going to be able to learn from her. Also I heard rumor she is all about those Jillean Michaels videos, so I am probably going to start working out for reals. Kind of excited. Anyways, so there is that news. Back to my week.

"Do Not Touch!"
So we visited a lot of members and less actives that Hermana Chandler wanted to say goodbye to. She has been here since May so there are a lot of people she knows. One of these visits was with Familia Gamarra and it was very sweet. We were both able to bear testimony of the power of the LDM <Book of Mormon> in relation to the family and the power that it can bring. We were able to then take some pictures. During which we saw the same white caterpillar from the week before. I simply asked what it was called and the mother freaked out. Come to find out the caterpillar is poisonous and dangerous. Whoops...good thing we didn't touch it when we took pictures of it the week before. 

Our night de navidad was really cool. It was fun to have a christmas program of sorts and to be able to sing. Then there were two baptisms following and that was really special. They were the first I
have seen on my mission so far and they were awesome. It is so powerful to see someone entering into a covenant that will change their live forever if they will strive to live worthy of it. 

 Our chapel in CDE
During the week I was also able to have some pretty great and powerful personal studies. Best parts of the day at times. The main thing I learned and was really taught this week was the importance of meaningful, powerful prayer and how I can make each and every prayer count. There is a section in PMG that talks a lot about this. Some of the things I learned were that I need to take time before I begin to pray to contemplate, meditate, and think about what I am going to pray for and what the spirit and Lord want me to pray for. Just as the spirit should be a part of our daily decisions and actions. The spirit has a place in prayer. We should be striving to listen to the spirit to know what the spirit would have us pray for. That was a new idea for me, but it makes perfect sense. As we pray for those things the spirit directs we are aligning our will with our Father in Heavens and are even more likely to receive those blessings he is willing and ready to send. I know that the Lord wants to bless each and every one of us, but he also will ALWAYS give us our agency. Entonces <Then>, we must exercise our agency, follow the spirit, and ask the Lord having faith that we will receive. Prayer is so important. My favorite source to learn more about prayer is in the Bible Dictionary. If you have never read it before, give it a whirl. It is powerful! If any of you are feeling that your prayers are lacking in some way, open up a PMG and the BD and learn how you can change. I know that I have a whole new view of prayer. It is something to be taken seriously and to do sacredly. Prayer is powerful and purifying if we approach it with the predetermined mindset to change and receive fully.  

Sorry, my thoughts are very scattered right now. Suffice it to say that I love this gospel. I love my Savior. I love this time of year and the focus that it puts back on him. I love the blessing it is to be on my mission and to see my blessings daily. I am grateful for so many things. This last Sunday was Hermana Chandler's last day and her testimony was so powerful. She was such a great example to me and I hope to be able to work hard until the end so that I have no regrets. 

So some more Paraguay fun facts: -The dogs eat ants. They lick them right up. Craziest thing I have ever seen. 
-There are mango trees EVERYWHERE...which means there are poisonous white caterpillars everywhere tambien <also> because they grow only on the mango tree.
-Also there are trees here that are just flower trees but they are huge. So beautiful.
-They burn trash here. So it always stinks kind of. Good thing I have a strong stomach #nurse
-All the primary children love me because I brought stickers and pictures. They all swarm me on Sundays. But Nestor is my favorite. I even got a picture with him!! So cute! #ifeelloved 

Now for a new portion of my email. The crazy and funny nursing calls I have received in the last transfer. 
-Whether a girl should put a bandaid on a scrape or not, and then after she put neosporin on and it kind of oozed she called to see if that was normal. #goodlaughs
-Only one dog bite so far, but it was like a TINY little dog. 
-I was called and asked about a canker sore and when that would go away...not by a sister this time. It was an elder. 
Those are just some. I will have more to be sure. Good times! Nursing is good. 

I love you all and am so grateful for your presence in my life. I hope all of you stay safe for the holidays. Until next week!! 

Hermana Albach

*Below are some pics from around our area. I especially like the murals (well, most of them) that they paint along their fences and buildings.
Coca-Cola 'truck'
One of the homes here
Downtown CDE

Another cow on a lease :)

I love this one below. It's a beautiful tribute to the Savior's life. The message at the end reads: Inner Peace is the Greatest Happiness in the Life.

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Cup Overfloweth...with Gratitude

November 24, 2014

Well with a title like that my whole email should be scriptural or something right? :) Nah..but there is definitely a reason for it that will be made clearer later on. To preface this week was very different but very good all the same. I had my eyes opened to some things good and bad. Isn't that what a mission is all about though? 
Well here it goes.

Monday - Well this day can be summed up in two words. Cinnamon. Rolls. Yes, you read correct. I made cinnamon rolls in South America. Just call me Iron Chef Paraguay. It was intense. Hahaha. But really they were actually pretty good, and I was way impressed with myself. I mean we don't have measuring cups, and I have NEVER made cinnamon rolls ever before, and all the ingredients were in spanish so I wasn't even sure if they were correct. Oh and our oven is in celsius. Like I said before. Iron Chef Paraguay for sure. :) Other than that we did the facials that we had bought earlier in Centro, and ate Chico 10s which is burgers with eggs on them. Weird but strangely good. Oh and shoutout to my Grandma Lybbert, she just turned 40 and looks great! Happy Birthday!!

Looks like the masks worked
Tuesday - HAPPY 20TH MADI LOU WHO!!! Anyways, this day we focused on getting me all ready with some nursing things. We also taught Juan Jose again, but when we tried to turn away from teaching him English and see if there was any interest after his attendance to church on Sunday. He didn't seem too into it. He believes in evolution and gaining all the knowledge he can. There was just a weird feel to it and neither I or Hna Chandler liked it. So we moved our next visit further in the future so we weren't visiting him as often. This day I also had a pretty incredible personal study where I was truly hit with how perfectly the Savior knows us. He knows the motive behind why we do stupid things, and why we do good things. If this is true, then why are we not all STRIVING every single day to stay close to him and ask for his help in overcoming our weaknesses because he is the ONLY one that understands our weaknesses, thoughts, emotions, and choices perfectly. He is truly the ONLY way in which we can overcome and change, because through him we begin to understand ourselves better. That may not make sense. Suffice it to say. The Savior is incredible and if I gain nothing more then a better relationship with my Savior on my mission. It would all be worth it because he truly is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. (Click here to watch videos of Christ's life - a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season.)

Wednesday - This day can be summed up in one word. Bianca. Bianca is a member of the barrio <neighborhood> that is engaged and getting married Thursday. She asked for our help and we ended up helping her basically all day. We didn't even get our studies. Kind of ridiculous but at least we did our part. It also made it very clear to me that I am going to try my very hardest not to be a bridezilla and to be grateful for every person that offers their aid when they don't have to. Gratitude is key. (Not to the meaning of the title yet...patience! :P )

Pooped! District and ZLs

Finally - a puppy
that is loved!
(This week's animal)
Thursday -Today was the day of Bianca's wedding so our whole night was spent at her wedding. Literally from 6:30-10:20p. It was NUTS. But before that we had lunch with the Lugen family and I was able to play with their cute little puppy. It was AWESOME! 

I was also able to play tic tac toe, and a paper version of battleship with their son Matias. He is my bud. P.S. The paper version of Battleship is way cooler. Back to the wedding. It was a hot mess. The judge left because Bianca showed up an hour late. Nothing starts on time here. Ever. Then they tried to find another judge for about an hour and finally left to be married by the judge at a different place. Then they came back and the festivities finally began at about 8:30. It was seriously nuts, and it looked similar to a Napoleon Dynamite prom. Good stuff. I have gotten lots of ideas for my future wedding. haha. Not really, but it was a crazy experience to say the least. We had fun though. 

Friday - Another kind of crazy day. We went and visited a less active family this day and brought a talk on strengthening the family and some coloring pages for the little boy. One of which was the one that said I will go to the temple someday. The mother saw this and started tearing up. She was pretty emotional the rest of the visit. Great news. She came to church on Sunday with her family and asked Hna. Chandler for a picture of a temple for their home. It is so AWESOME. You never how important a small thing is until it gives them a greater vision of something so important and huge. Always follow the promptings of the spirit. They are real and powerful.
Top right is our pension
Oh, we housed some other Hna's that were traveling back to their area from Posadas for the night. Experienced some power outages due to the crazy storm. 

Saturday - The day of all days. This day is the reason for the title. This day changed my view and changed my outlook. This day made all the other "eh" days this week, and in my mission so far, worth it. But before we start, funny moment. A man that I will talk more about later on this day. Rosalino gave me a bracelet and was trying to find the right size and apparently I have man arms because the bracelet had to be so big. Hope that means something good. In Spanish he said, "sus brazos come un hombre". Haha. Got to love how blunt they are here.  Now onto the best part. So we headed to visit Lorena because we haven't seen her in a week and needed to see her in order to help her to church on Sunday. When we got there, she still wasn't there. So we headed on towards another lady but decided to take a different route than usual. 

At a crossroads, Hna Chandler happened to look up the street and was like, "oh this is Alcides' (less
Our area. School bus on the left.
active man) street." I am not the hugest fan of Alcides because the last time we visited he got on me for not talking more and etc. and so forth. Despite this, I felt really good about visiting him and checking up. So we headed over. 
We were visiting with a less active member that we had not planned on visiting but did. When we got there he asked who had sent us. Then he asked about our families and we told him that all of our family members were church members. He was telling us how blessed we are to have all the members in our families active members. We expressed our respect for his strength and courage. As I was expressing my gratitude for this blessing to him, we began to talk on how he could be the member in his family that starts his family heritage in the gospel. He began to tear up and as we ended he prayed. He thanked the Lord that we had been sent to him and had given him renewed hope and blessed us. The spirit was so strong and powerful. As he was praying, I was struck with how grateful I am for those members that stood strong in my family when no one else did. I was struck with the knowledge that I need to find out who they are because they have created an incredible heritage for me. My heart has been turned to my father. I think I finally understand that scripture a little bit more. I am sure there is more understanding to come, but this was a great moment. 

Ciudad Del Estes buses
Fast forward to a little later, we visited Rosalino ("man arms").  He is a paraplegic that is a very
strong member and is always turning outwards. As we were visiting with him, he had us come into his house for a minute to show us the shoes he has repaired and to give me my "man-sized" bracelet. As I looked around his home, I was humbled. Greatly. And I was again struck with how incredibly blessed I am in my life of comforts in the United States. This man is making bracelets, exchanging coke bottles, and repairing shoes and barely scraping by. Yet he is the happiest man in the world and looks for EVERY opportunity to share the gospel and those things that have brought him the most happiness. Yet I find a mission hard. I was so humbled and struck with how much this gospel is an equalizer but also an enabling tool to help us see our blessings more clearly when confronted with one that has less but is filled with greater happiness and joy. Truly this changed my outlook. I know a mission is such an incredible opportunity for me to love as the Savior loved and to work as the Savior worked. If these members can do it, I most definitely can. I want to continue on my heritage with strength. I want to make my ancestors proud of my decisions to live this gospel each and every day. Better and more strong. I love this gospel. See I told you, these moments were life changers for me. 

How cute are these girls?? (All of them)
Sunday - All the people we taught came to church! Alcides. Rosalino, and as I said earlier Familia Gonzalez. It was awesome!! Loved it!! Then we went on divisions for this day and Monday because my companion and Hna. Holmes from the other Hna. companionship in our zone are both finishing their missions this next Sunday. So since they have not been to Iguazu Falls, the mission is paying for them to visit the falls now. Because we are only allowed to cross over into Argentina from Encarnacion, Paraguay, they had to ride the bus and head to Posadas this day. So I am with Hermana Maya until Tuesday. She is from Mexico and is super sweet. Oh funny story from this day: We were in gospel principles and the teacher asked me to read a part of the manual and then to give my thoughts on it. It was about the second coming. Needless to say I was terrified, but don't you worry I answered all in Spanish like a champ...well sort of. Haha. 

So we have transfers this upcoming Monday and I am not sure where I will go or if I will stay. Because of the loss of so many hermanas this transfer they are closing some areas. So we will see. I know that I will stay in Paraguay for now because the other mission nurse is in Argentina but I am not sure where. I know that wherever I go the Lord will need me and will be best for me. 

Oh, and the scripture that helped me most this week was Phillipians 4:13. “I can do all things, through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I am memorizing this is in spanish for those hard days and moments. Because I know that the Savior understands me and my thoughts and feelings and emotions perfectly. So through and by his empowering love and strength I can overcome, and endure, and be strengthened in all things.  

Love you all and appreciate all the emails, prayers, and thoughts. Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the mashed potatoes in honor of me. 

Chao, chao,

Hermana Albach

Random Facts: 
-Mate is huge here. They give their 2 year olds mate <no idea what this is>, and they are never anywhere without it. Even the obispo <bishop>. 
-They have chipa (cheesy bread) everywhere, and they have little stands with it like every five feet.
Chipa stand

-They eat mandioca all the time. It is like a skinned potato but drier and more starchy. Actually pretty good, but very different. 

Fuzzy wuzzy was a...caterpillar?

A field in our area--beautiful!

Our pension (upper right)

Oh Kate! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've Never Been so Grateful for Mufflers...

November 17, 2014

Well with a title like that this email has GOT to be great right? Right...or so I think...but I am going to make you all wait until the end to understand the true and full meaning of it. So on with this email. To start off, this week has been very different. We had zone conference and a lot of random things kept popping up but it was awesome. Ok, enough pep talk for all y'

This is the market place. Brazil is there behind me...
the green trees across the river. 
Monday - Well after the craziness of trying to type on a broken-struggle-bus-keyboard we went to buy our groceries. During which time I bought the ingredients to make Peanut Butter No-Bake cookies (without chocolate or coconut) for a member that helped bring Lorena to church the previous Sunday. I was really worried to make them but they were DANG good! So good, in fact, that we bought more ingredients later in the week (according to Hna. Chandler’s request) so that we could make more for ourselves. What can I say? I'm kind of a big deal! :) Then we concluded this night by hiding all of our good food due to the fact that we were going to be having two sisters from a different zone staying with us for zone conference the next day. Apparently, here there is no such thing as we just hid the stuff we didn't want them to have. Pretty silly! 

Chandler and I rocking the zone conference
Tuesday - My first ever zone conference! It was so cool! Loved it! It was all in Spanish, and as it began I heard my name announced for the opening prayer. Did they ask me if I would say it? Naturally not, they just knew I would because I am such a spiritual powerhouse, or just wanted to laugh at my awful Spanish. Pero <But>, come to find out, I was allowed to say it in English. Greatest day ever! Then I actually understood most of the conference, and our presentation went really well and everyone was involved, thanks to the bribery of candy we brought. It was fun. 9 hours in total and I feel like I came away with a better idea and understanding of my purpose as a missionary. It is truly preparation for the rest of my life, and bring to others the chance to change and create a future for the remainder of theirs. Pretty awesome! It rained all day so at least we were inside. At the end they asked if we would do our zone conference at a different zone conference the next day. Woohoo!! They loved us!! At the end of the day we had our first English lesson with Juan Jose Palacio. He is awesome and SO polite. It was actually really interesting for me too, because I feel that principles in Spanish are becoming more cemented in. We all know what they say, if you can teach it then you know it! Blessings. It was the craziest thing with Juan Jose, we were walking down the street and he approached us and asked if we taught English. Crazy the miracles and tender mercies the Lord places in your path. 

"It's just a cow, Kate!"
Wednesday - Well we taught at a different zone conference and had to ride the bus there. I thought I was going to die. The people are so aggressive and crazy here, but surprisingly there are very few accidents. It is seriously a miracle. I met other hermanas and they were so sweet. Shout out to Anna Hone if she ever reads this. I met her twin cowgirl. Their voices were identical and I was totally freaking out the whole time because, if it closed my eyes, it was like talking to Anna (a friend from EFY, fellow counselor) from home. Crazy!! We also got another homemade brownie from Hna. La Pierre. Those things are the most incredible thing ever so the fact that I got two basically made my week… and my skirts not fit. Chiste!! <joke> They still fit! Then as we were coming back the creepiest thing happened. This bus driver honked as we were crossing the street and creepily waved half behind his curtain thing while driving and just stared. Yikes. I mean it is super normal to have men catcall and stare, but this man had reached a new level. Good thing he was crossing by. Hermana Chandler and I have just decided it is because we are so good looking due to the gospel. Must be a technique/blessing the Lord gives his sisters. Who knows? Okay, I'm just getting ridiculous now. 

Thursday - We were tracting a ton this day and tracted into this crazy mean grandma lady. All I had said was that were were missionaries from the LDS church and she started yelling and came up to the gate and continued yelling/talking in a really gruff voice. Hna. Chandler handled it like a champ
Ginormous anthill
though and, come to find out, she had had a really bad experience with a Mormon member that was super rude. By the end of our five minutes talking to her, she was wishing us suerte <luck> and really sweet and smiling. At least we were able to leave her with a better impression of the church then when she started, but boy, was it a bit freaky because I couldn’t understand everything but I knew she was not happy. Tender mercy of a companion that speaks the language really well. Then we visited Lorena, the lady who came to church last Sunday and gave her a Book of Mormon to read and pray about. She told us her daughter LOVED church. She may just be the key. We are going to follow up with her this week. Then we taught Juan Carlos and Carmen. Carmen is so stinking cute and Juan Carlos is funny but man is he stubborn! We taught this lesson with a member of the ward, Ana, she is sweet and preparing for mission. It was really cool in the lesson when we asked Carmen if she had received her answer about the restoration that we had taught her about the last time and she told us of this dream she had.  She saw four men in suits headed outside the temple and she shook one of their hands, the man had white hair and BLUE, BLUE eyes and she could feel the power in his handshake and she knew it was the priesthood. She took this

dream as an answer because she knew they weren’t priests from any churches here. It was crazy but super cool because no one has white hair and blue eyes here. Juan Carlos, on the other hand, was super stubborn and blamed his age for not being able to change and believe, but we will keep trying because through the power of the Atonement and our Savior change and a fresh start is never out of reach or impossible. 
Some of the homes -- I am SO blessed!

Friday - I had RICE AND RAISINS! I promise my mission is not focused on food, but this was an epic moment. For any of you that truly know me, this is the greatest thing in the world. I am obsessed with this. It all happened because our lunch appointment fell through and we were dropped off at the store by her after she told us she had something to do. So I found raisins and bought some rice. Downside: the rice had bugs in it so I picked them out and stored it in a safer container, and figured that if they happened to make it into my rice they would be boiled and killed anyways. <Insert a picture of mom cringing> Welcome to Paraguay! Don't worry none of them have made it and I think I got them all out. Then that night we taught Juan Jose English again and he agreed to come to church this Sunday! We were so surprised but so stoked and we gave him homework of reading a passage of the Book of Mormon in English and using the LDM <Libre de Mormon> in Spanish to help him translate. Trying to find any way to throw the gospel into our English lessons. It is working… maybe. 

No complaints back home about
doing laundry ever again!
Saturday - I did laundry throughout the day whenever we were home for lunch or all the morning. It was crazy. Refer to the pictures. Then we had the primary program practice in which I became all the children’s best friend by bringing bookmarks they could color and having coloring things. (Thanks mom)!! It is always humbling to me how well they speak Spanish as kids and how much I don’t. Good to know I have room to improve. Then I waited there for 2 1/2 hours for it to be over after which we headed out tracting. We met a cow and naturally took pictures…because, I mean, it was a cow. Naturally that has to happen. :) Then we visited a less active family and Lorena again. All in all it was a good, productive night. 

Primary Children of Cuidad Del Estes
(and very familiar looking chairs)
Sunday - JUAN JOSE CAME TO CHURCH!! Say what??? Yes that is right! He came to church it was awesome! He was in all three hours of church, per his request during our lesson on Friday with him. It was crazy awesome! He got to see the primary program and the ward actually fellowshipped him. We teach him again tomorrow night so we will see then if he has any intrest in actually learning about the gospel tambine or solo ingles. Who knows? My scripture study this day was super awesome. I read Alma 17-21. Man, power-packed missionary scriptures, right? The main thing I took away after reading Aaron’s account was that it took him being put in prison, stoned, mocked, spat upon, and a lot of effort going to all gatherings and striving to share their message before they were blessed with visible success in the numbers or people prepared to hear the message. It was after all they could do...the Lord requires the same for his missioanries now and of me. I have to be willing to work so hard and give so much, and as I do so, the Lord will see my dedication and love for the work and bless me in turn. So cool to know that it is normal for it to be hard, but it is also normal to expect blessings and the presence of the Lord as we turn to him and leave our burdens with him. The Lord makes all things possible! All we have to do is turn towards him! Oh, and I also learned that LOVE is what opens doors. Read about the time Ammon was almost killed by Lamoni's father but then beats him and is able to ask for whatever he desires and all he desires is for his brethren in jail to be freed and for Lamoni to retain his kingdom. That is what opens the door to the king wanting to listen more to the message. Love is what it is all about and man do I love these people. They are so humble and so in need of this message and love! 

Now to the moment you have all been waiting for..the explanation of the title!!

Random Paraguay Stuff-
'See' you next week!
-No car, motorcycle, or anything has a muffler. It is SO LOUD all the time. I think I am going to be deaf. Crazy!! It literally sounds like gun shots everywhere at times! 
-We taught a lesson with a guarani speaker and he spoke to his mom in that language and it is the COOLEST sounding language. Look it up on in one of the newest talks from conference. So hard to read!! 
-Kids, when given coloring things, focus and just color and color in the lines and seriously get quiet. That is so weird for me. Total and utter concentration during the whole thing and were so respectful of all my coloring crayons. I was sure they would break one. Not at all. Crazy!!
-Look up the word estre├▒imiento...haha nursing language. I think it makes more sense in Spanish.
-Dogs are treated horrible here and are so sad. Makes me sick to my stomach daily!! Grateful for how we love our pets in America!! They are not loved here. They are STARVED for attention. 

Well that is all the time I have for now. Hope all is well with all of you! Love you all and appreciate your love and support! 


Hermana Albach